FLIP THE MODEL: Strategies for Creating and Delivering Value (a pre-print)

October 28, 2013, 3:36 pm

I’ve been eager to share this one. It was wrapped up in August and I’ve been sitting on it since the semester started. I recently got the “OK” from Elsevier and just put the final visuals together this weekend. There are a number of interesting stories in here– I’ll leave it at that:

flip_icon“Academic libraries are encountering a critical inflection point. In our case it isn’t a single technology that is disrupting our established system, but a barrage of advancements in publishing, pedagogy, and user preferences. The landscape is shifting around us, and the future of scholarship requires us to develop new skills, design new environments, and deliver new service capacities. In short, we need new operating models.” Read the pre-print.

This is the draft version that I submitted to the editors. The final (authoritative) copy will be out in January 2014 in the Journal of Academic Librarianship. It is a themed issue on innovation, startup thinking, and that sort of thing. I look forward to reading the other papers.

This began as my desire to write a three-page editorial. It grew into a 9,719-word beast. I tried to challenge the journal a bit by including literary elements such as a preface, afterword, and epilogue. My intention was always to create a conversation starter around future needs and practices.

I asked a handful of my peers to review the initial draft and nearly all of them encouraged me to trim it down. It is long and amorphous… and perhaps a tad overambitious for an article format, but I just could not do it. So much good content ended up on the cutting room floor that this is the length it had to be in order to express the full range of ideas. Thankfully my early readers also provided very constructive feedback; the text is in good shape because of them.


  1. A special thanks to Tara. None of my papers would see the light of day without her editing. And to Ashley too—who saved me from the humdrum world of .doc
  2. We have a library faculty open access mandate now, so this is my first officially required submission.
  3. I view this paper as part of a series. It began with startup. Went deeper with R&D. Got philosophical with problem discovery.  And now flip moves closer to application. I think there might be one more left, but I’m not sure. I’m taking a hiatus from this theme, but it will continue on my blog. My next several papers stretch in different directions: biology, shopping, and hacking, respectively. My objective is always about providing alternative perspectives around issues and concepts that many library leaders are facing. It feels good to finally get this paper online because in my mind I’ve moved on. I’m looking forward to new topics and new writing styles.


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